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Every parent knows the sense of reassurance and relief from walking past your child’s room and hearing him or her snore. It’s a sign that your son or daughter is sleeping deeply and peacefully (and hopefully for the entire night). However, it could also be an indication that your child has a breathing problem. Read on to learn more about why a child’s snoring is not as innocent as it seems.
In order to understand why snoring could be problematic, it’s important to know what snoring is in the first place.
Snoring is a noise that occurs during sleep when a person is breathing and there’s a blockage of air as it passes through the back of the mouth. As the air passage opens and closes, tissues in the throat vibrate.
Sometimes, snoring is soft. Other times, it’s quite loud. The volume of snoring is based upon how much air has passed through the mouth and how fast the tissues in the throat vibrate.
There are times when snoring is completely harmless. Doctors call this “primary snoring.” Primary snoring means that there aren’t any issues such as obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS).
OSAS is a sleep disorder. When someone suffers from OSAS, the muscles in the person’s throat relax and block the airway during sleep.
How can you tell if your child has OSAS? Watch your child as he or she sleeps. Does he or she snort or gasp while snoring? If he or she does snort or gasp while snoring, does this wake your child? Is it difficult to wake your child up in the morning, even if he or she has slept for eight hours or more?
After reading the paragraph above you might recognize some of the symptoms of OSAS in your child. But you might be wondering how serious OSAS can be.
The human body needs a certain amount of oxygen to function. When the body doesn’t get that oxygen during sleep, the person wakes up so he or she can breathe properly. People with OSAS can actually wake up anywhere between 30 and 300 times per night.
All those disruptions to a person’s sleep cycle can have major effects on his or her day-to-day life. People with OSAS feel exhausted all day long. They have difficulty concentrating. Sometimes, they fall asleep while in the middle of the conversation. In the case of kids, they might fall asleep in class. They frequently wake up with headaches. Many people with OSAS are grumpy or irritable all day.
Because their concentration is affected by their lack of sleep, kids with OSAS don’t perform as well in school. And their irritability makes it difficult for them to make and keep friends.
OSAS is treatable. Your child doesn’t have to continue to struggle because he or she isn’t sleeping through the night. An experienced ENT can help your son or daughter overcome OSAS and get a good night’s sleep. As a result, he or she will lead a healthier, more productive life.
Dr Nguyen is a national expert in the treatment of nasal allergies. Let us use the newest technology and our vast experience to customize a solution for your health needs. Houston Sinus and Allergy has over a decade of experience in treating nasal allergies. Our practice has won numerous awards, including being voted the Living Best of Reader’s Choice Award in 2015.